Advent calendar

Door eighteen

Door eighteen

Today’s #geoadvent site is the highest peak in South Wales, situated in the Brecon Beacons National Park…

We received two beautiful entries to our #100geosites photo competition featuring Pen y Fan – the highest peak in South Wales, rising to a height of 886 metres above sea level.

Jenny Ellerton sent us this panorama, taken from Corn Due – which rises to 873m.

She writes, ‘Pen Y Fan was formed from various units of the Devonian Old Red Sandstone. The lower slopes are composed of the sandstones and mudstones of the Senni Formation and the upper slopes composed of the Brownstones Formation. The very summit is near-flat and composed of harder-wearing sandstones of the Plateau Beds Formation.

Steep scarp slopes drop from the summit towards the north and, along with Cwm Llwch (shown on the photo), are evidence of the intense glacial action that occurred during the last Ice Age.’

Pen Y Fan c Jenny Ellerton

Pen Y Fan c Jenny Ellerton

A hydrogeologist working for SLR Consulting, Jenny is originally from Birmingham, but moved to Johannesburg, South Africa, four years ago for work.

‘I only manage to come back to the UK once a year and try and see as many people as I can and try and fit in as much as I can. This year I met up with friends to walk the annual ‘Mountain Trail Challenge’ which is a 30 mile walk for charity through the Brecon Beacons.

We did this walk in September 2015. I had just come through a Jo’burg winter which is typically cold but sunny and very very dry. It does not rain for 3 to 4 months. Grass becomes yellow and trees lose their leaves. So for me, what caught my attention on the walk was how green everything was – it was beautiful and it’s something that you don’t realise that you miss until you don’t have it.’

Our second Pen Y Fan photograph came from Gina Williams, who took this beautiful image at Bwlchy Ddwyallt.

Pen Y Fan c Gina Williams

Pen Y Fan c Gina Williams

She says: ‘On Easter Weekend 2015, myself and my better half decided to go walking for a couple days. I grew up with Hay Bluff in my scenery, so taking time out to walk in the brecons was perfect.

‘We stayed at a terrific place in Talybont -on-Usk “The Travellers Rest” and as our starting point made our way along the canal and up towards Waun Rydd. We then made our way across to Bwlchy Ddwyallt where the light was really awesome and this is where I took this photo, with Cribyn, Pen Y Fan and Corn du in the background.

‘We made our way on round to Craig Cwareli and then onto Craig Cwm-Oergwm. At this point time was slightly out of our favour, so we headed to Fan Y Big where we descended past Cefn Cyff and into Llanfrynach. The last part of the route back, followed the canal path all the way along to the pub for a well earned beverage after the 25km route.
It never fails to impress, walking up there. Every day brings a different view and for a lover of photography this is a great match.’

One thought on “Door eighteen

  1. . . and the great news is that Pen y Fan and Corn Du both sit within one of the newest UNESCO designated landscapes – that of Fforest Fawr UNESCO Global Geopark which came into being in November this year – one of 120 around the world including 7 in the UK. The area celebrated its tenth birthday as a European Geopark only in October so receiving the global accolade was a real birthday treat.

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